Debt, n.: "An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave-driver."
~Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
The number one question I get about being a single stay at home mom is about finances.
How can you afford to stay home on no income???
Well, the answer is threefold.
1. I do have child support income (yes, once upon a time there were two of us). It isn't a very large amount, but it gives me a baseline to work from each month. I also make money from babysitting (though it isn't built into my budget because it isn't reliable) & selling handmade needlework.
2. I don't buy a lot of extra crap -- yes, CRAP! You won't come to my house and see electronics, gadgets, clothes with the tags still on them or late night infomercial buys (thanks to not having a TV) hanging around in my closet. Don't get me wrong, I'm still guilty of the occasional regrettable impulse buy from time to time, but I either return it, or sell it on the black market (my cool name for Craigslist) as soon as I come to my senses. In my opinion keeping something you don't want just because you paid for it & can't recoup what it cost you is throwing good money after bad. Unload it before it depreciates even further. Also, we live in a great region for outdoor activities, which are often free, so we just spend most of our free time outdoors.
3. I don't have ANY consumer debt. That means, no credit cards, no mortgage, no auto loan (even when I owned a car I paid cash for a used one), no store installment plans. Nothing. What does that mean? Well, it means freedom. As the quote above illustrates, as long as you are in debt to someone, anyone, you are their slave. Slaves aren't free.
I keep this quote in my mind and every time I'm tempted to buy something I don't need I ask, "is it worth selling myself into slavery?" The answer is always no.